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Discussion Starter #1
After doing lots of research on this and other MB forums, I finally decided to lower my ML350 with H&R springs. It was either those or the Eibach ones and the consensus seemed to be most people went with H&R for the lower drop. The car dropped about 1.5 inches on the front and 2.0 inches on the back immediately after install. It'll probably settle in a little lower than that over the next couple weeks (had it done on Friday).

Having driven the car about 200 miles since install, here are my thoughts. The look has improved substantially, so much so that the constant razzing I've been getting from my friends about buying a "soccer mom" car have stopped completely. Paired with a set of 20" wheels, the car looks sporty and aggressive. The handling is much improved and I can take corners hard and fast. The ride, however, has gotten much worse. The springs do not pair well with the stock shocks and the ride is bouncy with an occasional clunk when driving over bumps at low speeds.

At this point, I'm not sure whether I'm going to keep the setup. The car looks SO much better than before and, since that was the whole point, I accomplished what I set out to do. However, the ride will take some getting used to. I was prepared for it to be rougher than stock, but the amount of bounce was unexpected. The only way to correct that would be swap out the shocks as well which will run at least another $2k. I'll see how I feel in a couple weeks but, for those of you thinking of lowering your car, be sure you're ready to give up the cushy ride you have now.
 

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Davicon - Results were exactly as I expected as stated in the Eibach thread here. IMHO the key to making your setup workable is finding the right new shocks (not just a new set of soft OEM shocks that are matched to OEM springs). Maybe somebody has recommendations on good aftermarket shocks for the ML.
 

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btw, any pics yet?
 

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I just ordered the Eibach springs. Sounds like I'm in for a rough ride...but compared to the 4" lowered Lightning I was driving I'm hoping it won't be THAT bad!

I'm actually really worried about alignment issues...but the mod bug bit me so......
 

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I just ordered the Eibach springs. Sounds like I'm in for a rough ride...but compared to the 4" lowered Lightning I was driving I'm hoping it won't be THAT bad!

I'm actually really worried about alignment issues...but the mod bug bit me so......
See the recent Eibach thread is this W164 section of forum. There was something about wearing out inside of tires in 10K miles (22" staggered wheels).
 

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K--thanks! I read through all the springs posts. Looks like different people got different results, but it seems like new shocks may be needed to complete the package. I just can't find anyone that carries the Bilsteins I need here in the US!

Guess I'll have the springs installed and then see how it feels. Keeping my fingers crossed!! :(
 

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K--thanks! I read through all the springs posts. Looks like different people got different results, but it seems like new shocks may be needed to complete the package. I just can't find anyone that carries the Bilsteins I need here in the US!

Guess I'll have the springs installed and then see how it feels. Keeping my fingers crossed!! :(
Let us know if you are the first to have positive results without significant downgrades in ride quality and tire wear, plus clunking noises.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
MB-SV, haven't gotten around to taking pics yet. Will post some as soon as I get the chance.

red00lght, don't mean to scare you off about the springs. Having never lowered a car before (my last one was a stock E350), it may just be that I'm not used to that type of ride. I looked into options on aftermarket shocks and the Bilsteins that were mentioned in another thread aren't available here in the US. Brabus does offer a whole spring and shock setup but it will run you $3k. Guess it comes down to how much you're willing to spend.
 

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Thanks--yes, I'm worried I just blew a few hundred bucks on something I'm not going to like but it won't be the first time!! :D

There are several Mercedes shops (not dealers) down here that do alot of custom work in Miami so I'm hoping they have some solutions....will keep ya posted! :thumbsup:
 

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I am willing to bet that a decent aftermarket shock will make a big difference when used with the lowering springs, since they will be firmer. Maybe one of the more experienced shops in Miami can recommend shocks. It's just more money.

IMHO, I am not surprised by the degraded results with lowering springs and stock shocks. After driving my stock (steel springs) ML for 11K+ miles fairly hard, I've noticed the following. Lots of suspension travel, soft on large bumps, some low speed harshness, no bottoming on big bumps taken at speed. Yeah the large fender gap is like an SUV and yeah the suspension feels soft at speed. But the control at speed on bad roads is very good and the cornering power is good for an SUV (I have OEM-sized 255/50/19 tires). I am reluctant to mess with this well-engineered suspension.
 

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davicon - Any updates on your new lowering springs? Did you find some new shocks?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well after about three weeks and 600 miles on the H&R springs, I finally decided to go back to the stock ones. The final straw was the day I got car sick from driving my OWN car. Driving surface streets wasn't all that bad. There was the occasional harsh bump, but generally speaking I got used to the firmer ride. The problem was driving on the freeway. At high speeds the excess bounce from the suspension would get magnified. With the freeways in LA being in as sorry a state as they are, the thought of enduring another few years (I'm on a lease) with that ride was just too much. I had the H&Rs replaced with the old stock springs last week. MB-SV, I probably could've found a set of shocks to match but I didn't want to throw more money into a car that I didn't own. Incidentally, the front wheel gap is actually about 1.5" higher than it was pre-lowering. Anybody have an idea why?
 

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Incidentally, the front wheel gap is actually about 1.5" higher than it was pre-lowering. Anybody have an idea why?
Yes, maybe the front springs were in back and the back springs were in front. Sounds lame, but it's possible, I've seen Wheelworks here make that mistake.

Oh and thanks for the good feedback. I've concluded that the ML is a poor candidate for lowering springs, especially when used with stock shocks.
 

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this post has kept me from experimenting and buying the lowering springs that are out there ...... but i soooooooooooooooo hate the wheel well gap. has anyone shelled out the 3k for the entire brabus lowering set up? are they happy with it? what about the guy that paired the eibach springs with the bilestin b6 shocks -- is he happy with it?

what about oversized tires? has anyone tried that -- am i the only one that really and truly hates the "underwheeled" look and wheel well gap. it's pathetic that the mercedes designers can't see how proportionally it looks odd.
 

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Yep, I've learned to live with the fender gap, since this is an SUV with decent ground clearance and 4wd. I did not like the "underwheeled" look of 2006 w/17's, so I upgraded to 19" wheels, which is the standard wheel size for the 2008 ML's.

Try a search on the Brabus springs, I think it's been done by another poster.
 

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I already have the eibach springs installed and for now it´s fine, any way, it looks like that you can lower the car a little without changing the springs, the rubber that sets the springs, for the Canadian(and I guess for all north american) market, are bigger than the european ones, because they are 2 or 3 instead of one in europe. You can take one of that parts out and the car will be lowered a bit. Instead of a big block of rubber they´re 2 or 3 pluged on each other to make a biger space, if you take one of it, it will be smaller and wil lower the car.
 

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I already have the eibach springs installed and for now it´s fine, any way, it looks like that you can lower the car a little without changing the springs, the rubber that sets the springs, for the Canadian(and I guess for all north american) market, are bigger than the european ones, because they are 2 or 3 instead of one in europe. You can take one of that parts out and the car will be lowered a bit. Instead of a big block of rubber they´re 2 or 3 pluged on each other to make a biger space, if you take one of it, it will be smaller and wil lower the car.
About how much will it lower the car, approx.?
 

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I already have the eibach springs installed and for now it´s fine, any way, it looks like that you can lower the car a little without changing the springs, the rubber that sets the springs, for the Canadian(and I guess for all north american) market, are bigger than the european ones, because they are 2 or 3 instead of one in europe. You can take one of that parts out and the car will be lowered a bit. Instead of a big block of rubber they´re 2 or 3 pluged on each other to make a biger space, if you take one of it, it will be smaller and wil lower the car.
I'm guessing that's due to the different bumper height standards in diff countries.

At $3K for the Brabus set of shocks/springs, I'd rather just order the Airmatic suspension (assuming this thought is pre-purchase of the car!) and be said and done. That's what I did with mine, as I wasn't happy with the stock ride height either. Then I had it lowered a tad :)
 

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I'm guessing that's due to the different bumper height standards in diff countries.
That's what I was thinking, similar to Porsche ROW springs being slight shorter than US springs. But I'm not sure that's the case with a tall SUV.
 
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